iOS 9.3 Available now for download. Here are a few of the features.
Night Shift-The blue light emitted by your device screens inhibits production of melatonin which s essentially what tells our brains to go to sleep. iOS9.3 has a fix for this. Android has had one for years in the form of an app called Twilight.
Password Protected Notes
There’s a new news app tailored to your needs
New 3D Touch shortcuts for the Weather, Settings, Health, App Store, iTunes Store and Compass apps
Copy photos in the Photos app so you can keep one edited and keep original.
Siri now supports Hebrew, Finish and Malay
New 9.7 Inch iPad Pro
Less expensive SE edition iPhone 4-March 31st release
Galaxy Note 6 rumored to release in the fall. There’s a possibility Samsung might finally stretch the Note 6’s resolution to 4K.
Samsung also has a neat patent as seen in the photo below, We don’t yet know if this will be ready for the Note 6. Android when a phone, Windows when docked.
Galaxy Tab Pro S Windows device that looks like the Windows Surface device.
In Other News
Waze App for Navigation will now tell you when you should leave to get somewhere on time based on driving time.
Dominos is coming out with a self driving delivery car.
The Passport Pet Access Smart System™ uses advanced entry and exit technology to provide freedom and peace of mind like no other pet door. Using radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology, the Passport reads the Passport Key™ worn on your pet’s collar. This lets only pets with programmed IDs to enter and exit the home, while keeping out other pets, wild animals, and strays. Choose from advanced selective entry and exit by pet, multiple access options (such as in-only access and out-only access), and access only at specific times of the day. Programming is easy using the LCD screen and 5-button navigation or by connecting to your computer with the included USB cable. The Passport gives you complete control of each pet’s access. http://store.petsafe.net/passport-pet-door
Don’t take a chance on losing your pet. You can find them using gps if they are taken or get out if their area. You set up parameters and your smartphone does the rest, All you have to do is keep it charged.
$100 + first 3 mos, $8 after http://www.pettracker.com/
This device will give your pet enough time to do their business them grab the poop or clump of pee and drop it into a receptacle and all you have to do is empty it.
THINGS TO ASK SIRI
Are you feeling a wee bit bored and/or silly? Perhaps you’d like to know more about Siri. There is a website full of funny things to say to Siri. My fav is the first which enables you to make Siri curse at you. Or you could have her call you something outrageous when she addresses you. My co-worker had Siri addressing her as Goddess of Evil.
HOW OLD AM I
Here another silly thing to do, perhaps you have nothing better to do than see how old Microsoft thinks you and your friends are. I tried it and the first time it thought I was 31…so I’ll take it! Have a look! This is my sister and I. She is 3 years older than me but we just might be a few years older than that!
Fell free to insert yourself! http://how-old.net/#results
CRAFTING GONE WRONG
Pinstrosity is a pinterest blog dedicated to projects that went awry!
BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD CUPCAKES
How about baking projects that didn’t quite hit the mark?
We live in an age where people either want to share what they are doing or thinking or know what their peeps are doing or thinking. For this reason, naturally, social media is all the rage but there is a new black and it’s called “crowdsourcing.” It’s rather brilliant, really!
crowd·sourc·ing (as defined by merriam-webster.com)
noun\ˈkrau̇d-ˌsȯr-siŋ\: the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people and especially from the online community rather than from traditional employees or suppliers
Now that you know what Crowdsourcing is, there are the traditional ways to crowdsource like asking your Facebook friends where is a good place to: eat, sleep, camp, drink, get your haircut, or do anything for that matter. Or you can search using Pinterest
As far as I am concerned, this is the best possible use of your “crowd.” Use them to avoid traffic and speeding tickets!
Waze is one of the world’s largest community based traffic and navigation apps. Join drivers in your area who share real-time traffic & road info to save time, gas money, and improve daily commuting for all.
Have you ever been to an event, then checked Facebook or Googled it to see what other pictures/videos might be available or what other people thought about it? Crowd Flik is the ultimate app for people who like to do this. CrowdFlik is the mobile video APP that allows you to share, view and edit mobile video footage captured by the crowd. CrowdFlik automatically synchronizes and organizes multiple video streams and gives you the power to easily create multi-angle, shareable video compilations of your favorite moments at your favorite events.
This is a solo several people videotaped to illustrate the point of using it for different camera angles but imagine using this to videotape your favorite band or a school concert or recital your kids were in and you forgot to charge the camcorder.
The best part is maybe you will see pix or footage of yourself! Talk about reinventing the selfie!
Got a great idea you need funded and you’re at the end of the friends and family list? If it’s a great idea, why not have it sourced by the masses?
This is a great way to do just that. Try Techfunder, which is made up of Kickstarter and others.
Reach out to your peeps (and the rest of the world), isn’t that what they’re there for?!
When you are packing for vacation, chances are you are concentrating on clothes. You may want to give some thought to the mobile devices you are going to bring and what you may need to support it. Here are some ways to prepare your devices and accessories so you can be connected when you need to be.
Research Global Plans
Contact your carrier to see if switching to a global plan would benefit you based on the locations you are traveling to. Charges while roaming can quickly become astronomical. Without a global plan, data transferred will cost approximately $1.99/MB. Texts are $.50 for outgoing and incoming. Verizon has a fantastic Trip Planner that can help you decide if you need to ammend your plan for vacation. T-Mobile Global info | AT&T Global | Sprint
Download What You Won’t be Able to Access
Download books, music, games, apps, and movies ahead of time. Even if you switch to a global plan for the duration of your trip, it is still going to cost you per MB of data transferred. For this reason, it is a good idea to download anything you think you might need prior to sailing into a roaming area or worse, an area that completely lacks service.
Waterproof Your Devices
Get a waterproof case for your phone (or tablet) if you plan to take it with you on any excursions that might involve the water or the beach. If you have a good camera on your smartphone, there is really no reason to bring an extra camera if you can waterproof it. If you have an older phone, basic phone or a phone that isn’t compatible with a LifeProof or OtterBox case, you can get a waterproof box that will fit one or two phones and perhaps some cash and credit cards. Just be careful not to let your smartphone and credit cards touch as the phone could render magnetic strip on the card useless. Also, keep your room key or cruise access passes away from your smartphone.
Use Airplane Mode
When you are traveling by plane, most airplines will allow you to keep cell phones and tablets on for the whole flight but they must be in airplane mode. When you are on a cruise out of cell phone range, if put your device(s) in Airplane Mode. you will keep your device from constantly searching for signal. That process consumes a great deal of battery and you’ll find it draining rapidly without even using any of the voice or data services.
Set Date and Time Manually
While you are at sea or in another country using a different radio signal and you plan to use your phone for a watch or an alarm clock, you’ll need to set the date and time manually. When you put the device in airplane mode, it will no longer keep the correct time. Do this by turning off the network provided time and time zone and set it yourself. That way you can still use your phone for a watch and you’ll always have a camera on hand. Be aware, of any times changes if you are traveling across time zones.
A little preparation before you head on vacation will make for a better trip, especially if you are the type that is used to being “connected” at all times. The first few times you pick up your device to Google something and realize it’s either not possible or going to cost you a bundle will make you rethink being connected. You’ll be happy you downloaded what you may need and prepared your technology for it’s own vacation.
Check back next week for Part 2 of this series. I will tell you about some FANTASTIC accessories that will make your life and vacation easier, where your mobile devices are concerned, I have no control over air traffic!
Let’s face it, you probably can’t count on only one hand the amount of times you have lost your wallet, keys and/or cell phone. Lucky for all of us, there are several tracking devices that will help you find your wallet and keys and a few of those trackers will also help you find your phone. A few of these devices started out as kickstarter projects so they could be funded by anyone interested. Two of them (Tile and PhoneHalo) have finally come to fruition.
Lets start with Tile . It is just what it seems to be, a small tile that can be connected to a keychain or stuck to a laptop.
Works with iPhone 4S and newer, iPad Mini, iPad 3rd gen and newer, and iPod Touch 5th gen and newer.
You can see yourself getting closer and further away from the Tile when within a 50 – 150ft range.
Use Tile on as many things as you want. Add up to 8 Tiles on an account.
Tiles will play you a melody if triggered. If you can hear it, you can find it.
The app remembers where it last saw your Tile, so you can easily find it right where you left it.
Tiles last a year. We’ll remind you when it’s time to order new Tiles and send you an envelope to recycle your old ones.
Phone Halo StickR TrackR is pretty similar to Tile but it has a built-in, replaceable battery. It also allows you to track your phone if you have the TrackR device. It has a button on it which will alert your phone. Watch Video
TrackR displays the distance between yourself and your items. Finding keys has never been easier.
Item Ringer-With a quick tap of your finger, cause your misplaced item to ring.
Phone Finder-Press the button on the TrackR device to cause your phone to ring, even in silent mode!
Crowd GPS-When another user walks by your item, you will be updated with the items’ latest location.
No Recharging-Don’t worry about batteries. TrackR lasts for over 1 year on an easy to replace coin cell battery.
Multiple Devices-TrackR can keep track of all your essential items. A single phone or tablet can track up to 5-10 items simultaneously.
Fully Customizable-You can fully customize your StickR TrackR. Including sound alert settings and more.
Cross Platform-Works on iPhone 4s & later, iPad with Retina Display & later, and Android 4.4 devices with Bluetooth 4.0
Whether your Dad is techie or just appreciates when things run smoothly with little fuss, there is bound to be a gift here for him. There might even be a few things here that catch your fancy. I personally like all of these although as a renter, I have no need for the Smart Sprinkler System but my landlord would probably love it.
Rachio Iro Smart Sprinkler System
All your sprinkler system needs to know is a little weather awareness, some lawn analytics and you and your smartphone can do all the rest. “Our smart sprinkler controller, Iro, can maintain your watering schedule for you when you simply don’t have the time. It will automatically adjust for changes in weather and seasonality, using as little water as possible while keeping your landscape looking its best.” Rachio Iro Website
Jawbone Up 24
Everyone could use a little assistance watching your activity, sleep and what you are eating. Help Dad take the guesswork out of all of that. He can connect to a smartphone or tablet and log and track his progress. I didn’t think I’d like this device as it has a removeable part (the cap that comes off when device is charging) but I’ve been using it for a few months and all is well and I haven’t lost the part as I keep it with the device while it is charging. The interface and food database is very easy to use and understand. I also like the “look” and “feel” of it over the Fitbit. Jawbone Up 24
If you house or your parents was/is anything like mine, you could never find a piece of paper when you needed one. The Boogie Board eliminates the need! For under $20 you have an unlimited notepad and pen!
The digital Fork is soooo five minutes ago. This little beauty plugs into that marinated tenderloin and alerts your smartphone when it reaches the correct temperature. So Dad can kick back and open some other Father’s day gifts or throw back a beer while he is grilling for the family on his special day. The only drawback is Dad needs an IOS device (iPhone or iPad) for compatibility. Available at various retailers.
What Dad hasn’t done something cool enough to catch on camera? Whether he goes cycling, snowboarding, fishing, whitewater rafting, sailing, snowmobiling, ziplining, all Dad’s love to brag and show off their adventures.
This entry level camera can be mounted on anything , it’s waterproof and it’s only $199
I have both Apple and Android roots and since I have been in the Mobile Life “space” for the last 15 years, I have a lot of thoughts about the operating systems that both Apple and Android have to offer up for your smartphones and tablets. I have both Operating Systems and I have to say until now, I have widely preferred Android. There is so much customizing possible and I am all about making the device WORK FOR ME…the way I WANT IT TO WORK. Are you with me so far?
On June 2, Apple made the big announcement at WWDC2014 in (where else?) San Francisco; the land of all good tech announcements! iOS8 will be available this fall and it will be sporting some really great features (albeit most have already been part of Android’s OS, some for years). Anyway, I guess better late than never, so here is what you can look forward to:
NFC is finally mature enough for iOS
Android launched this great way to make mobile payments a few years ago, but Apple is finally bringing NFC or near-field communication to their iOS devices. They tried to make up for it with the Passbook app but if you’ve ever had the chance to use NFC on an Android, you’d see how much more clever it is. Simply wave your phone over a terminal and you’re done, you’ve paid for a soda, pair of shoes, gas, Dunkin Donuts or other items at hundreds of thousands of other retailers. Verizon’s ISIS service has made huge strides in this arena and the consumer gets some great discounts.
I am not exaggerating when I say I have been using a SWYPE keyboard for about 5 years. Some of those were still in Beta but none-the-less, it’s the fastest way to enter type. Check out this article What’s all the Hype about SWYPE I wrote about it back in ’09. Anyway, iPhone users are going to LOVE it. There are others like SwiftKey but SWYPE has by far been my favorite for years.
Siri gets an awakening
When you are in the car, you will now be able to say “Hey Siri” to wake up your iPhone. Moto’s Droid Ultra and Moto X allow that now and at anytime. For example if I am walking through my house looking for my phone, I can say “Hey Google Now” and it will wake up and wait for my next command. Which in some cases is “Ring My Device” so I can find where I left my phone. Siri has been upgraded with new languages and some new commands.
The ability to preview an app before you buy it with a video seems only natural…so much so that Google’s Play store has been doing that for ages. I don’t think there is an app in that market that doesn’t have a video with it. There I go giving Android props again. Well now iPhone and iPad users will get the same benefit with app previews. Along with that improvement, there will be enhanced app searches, app bundles, and Beta testing.
Increased Storage on the Cloud
When Apple launched their iCloud service, they only offered space for 1000 photos for one month. Quite frankly I saw that as a way to piss people off, who only needs their pictures for a month? Luckily, they smartened up and now offer 5GB with no time limit and the photos can be accessed from any device. Google offers a variety of storage solutions. Google+ Photos is free and unlimited and for documents, Google Drive which offers 15GB for free, which is much more generous than the 5GB offered by Apple’s iCloud Drive. But you now have a place to keep stuff accessible across your devices, you just need to tidy it up once in a while… like every 5GBs worth.
I think these changes were warranted a long time ago but they are finally coming when iOS8 launches in the fall and they will make iOS devices even better than they were before. Hey, I never said they weren’t great devices! They certainly are, I just prefer a little more customization in a mobile device.
What do you think? Are these features you are looking forward to? If you are an Android user, will any of them make you jump ship over to an Iphone/iPad?